B2B E-Commerce Payment Solutions Must Overcome “Network Fantasies”

In a recent discussion, consultant Erin McCune at e-commerce payments researcher Glenbrook pointed out a major issue in the framework of B2B e-commerce payments: the need for interoperability.

McCune describes what she calls the “network fantasy.” That is, the B2B e-commerce world is too complex, with too many suppliers and buyers on different systems, to achieve a major large-scale network on which most payments could be made. “Even the most successful of the B2B networks have only a small number of suppliers signed up and accessible to other payers,” McCune explains.

Many sites are hard at work at becoming more user-friendly, McCune continues, and that is important. But, while it is important to make things look good and be easy to use, even more important is technology that overcomes the inherent complexity of overlapping solutions in the B2B ecosystem. “APIs make it much, much easier for various cloud-based solutions to develop interfaces. And as more and more enterprise solutions move to the cloud, and businesses of all sizes gradually adopt them, this becomes a key driver of interoperability.”

So the buyer can use a system, and the supplier can use another. For payments, each can work with a third-party provider in the Cloud that will be interoperable with both systems. “But in order to achieve interoperability, we, as an industry, are going to have to give up our network fantasies,” McCune says. Solutions have to work for both buyers and sellers in order to achieve critical mass, and, for now, the network effect is very powerful but very hard to achieve.

Glenbrook estimates that no more than five percent of B2B spend is through B2B networks. Yet an interoperable third-party provider, like Traxpay, could resolve the issue and make such payments easy and low-cost.

By combining payment and related data together, Traxpay reduces the number of payment exceptions and allows for faster reconciliation and dispute resolution. Traxpay also integrates into existing ERP and other corporate IT systems, and is a SAP-certified solution. Traxpay provides the ultimate in trusted trade with its real-time and conditional payments features, its secure bank-grade private data center, and assurance that all funds are more highly safeguarded than at any bank. Traxpay can help.  Contact us at info@traxpay.com for additional information.

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